Dr Nicola Smith


Senior Lecturer in Political Science

Department of Political Science and International Studies

Nicola Smith

Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 288 2937

Telephone (2) +44 (0)121 414 7569

Fax +44 (0)121 414 3496

Email n.j.smith.1@bham.ac.uk

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom


Nicola Smith is a political economist whose work is broadly concerned with debates about globalisation and social justice.

Feedback and office hours

Tuesdays 2-3pm

Wednesdays 11-1pm


  • PhD Political Science (Birmingham)
  • MA Research Methods (Political Science) (Birmingham)


Nicki studied at the University of Birmingham as both an undergraduate and postgraduate student, and she achieved her PhD on Ireland's experience of globalisation in 2003.  Following her ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, in 2005-06 Nicola was the Principal Investigator of an ESRC-funded project on ‘Discourses of globalisation and European integration in the UK and Ireland’, for which Colin Hay was Co-Investigator.  Nicki’s current research is concerned with issues surrounding globalisation and social justice with respect to uneven gendered and sexualised power relations, including a recent Leverhulme-funded research project on the political economy of male and transgender sex work in the UK and the Netherlands.

Nicki is Director of the MA Programme in IPE and Information Officer for POLSIS, is Year Tutor for the Cross-College Liberal Arts Programme and serves on the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Ethics Committee.  In 2013 Nicki received the Award for Excellence in Teaching and Supporting Student Learning for the College of Social Sciences, and she has recently completed the University's Emerging Leaders' Programme.

Nicki also edits (with Adrienne Roberts and Juanita Elias) the new book series on Global Political Economies of Gender and Sexuality for Rowman & Littlefield International.


Pols G79 Globalisation and Governance

Dissertation Workshops (2nd year UG)

(Partly bought-out for teaching 2013-14)

Postgraduate supervision

I have co/supervised a number of PhD projects through to successful completion and am currently co/supervising the following projects:

  • Lindsay Murch, 'How military technology shapes hegemonic conceptions of masculinity'
  • Hena Singh, 'Neo-Liberalism and Women's Rights'
  • Christian Hernandez,  ‘Globalisation and Latin America’s Emergence’
  • Corina Filipescu, ‘Inventing the Idea of Europe: The Romanian Construction of the Idea of Europe versus the Western Idea of Europe’

I welcome applications from potential PhD students in the following areas:

  • Critical Approaches to International Political Economy
  • Feminist theory
  • Queer theory
  • Post-structuralism
  • Trans* studies
  • Sex work
  • Global ethics
  • Anti-globalisation


Research groups: Gender and Feminist Theory, International Political Economy

Research and academic interests

  • International political economy
  • Global ethics and social justice
  • Feminist and queer theory
  • Sexual labour

Current and recent projects

Other activities

Other professional appointments

  • 2013-present: External Examiner (International Relations), University of Bristol
  • 2011 - present: External Examiner (Politics), Oxford Brookes University
  • 2009 -2010: Co-Convenor of the Centre for Sex Work Research and Policy (CSWRP) UK
  • 2006 - present: Editorial Associate of the journal ‘British Politics’
  • 2007 - 10: Co-Director (with Donna Lee) of the BISA Working Group on Small States
  • 2005 - 08: Membership Secretary of the Global Studies Association

Associate member of the UK Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and the Higher Education Academy; active member of CSWRPUK and CSWRPEU.


Selected publications (see https://bham.academia.edu/NicolaSmith for pre-print versions):

Authored Books

N. Smith (forthcoming 2014) Queer Sexual Economies (Basingstoke: Palgrave)

Smith, N. (2005) Showcasing Globalisation? The Political Economy of the IrishRepublic(Manchester: Manchester University Press)

Edited Books

M. Laing, K. Pilcher and N. Smith (eds) (forthcoming 2014) Queer Sex Work  (London: Routledge)

Cameron, A., J. Dickinson and N. Smith (eds) (2013) Body/State (Farnham: Ashgate)

Widdows, H. and N. Smith (eds) (2011) Global Social Justice  (London: Routledge)

Journal Special Issues

Smith, N. and M. Laing (eds) (2012) ‘Working Outside the (Hetero)Norm? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Sex Work’, Sexualities,  15: 5

Smith, N. and H. Hoffler (eds) (2009) ‘Global Social Justice in Theory and Practice’, Journal of Global Ethics, 5: 2

Lee, D. and N. Smith (eds) (2008) ‘The International Political Economy of Small States', The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 97

Journal Articles

N. Smith and D. Lee (2014) 'What's Queer About Political Science?' British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Early View

C. Hay and N. Smith (2013) 'The Story of a North-Sea Bubble: The Strange Demise of the Anglo-Liberal Growth Model in the UK and Ireland', European Political Science Review. 5: 3

Smith, N. (2012) ‘Body Issues: The Political Economy of Male Sex Work’, Sexualities, 15: 5

Smith, N. (2011) ‘The International Political Economy of Commercial Sex’, Review of International Political Economy , 18: 4

Lee, D. and Smith, N (2010) 'Small State Discourses in the International Political Economy’, Third World Quarterly , 31: 7 

Hay, C. and N. Smith (2010) ‘How do Policy-Makers Really Understand Globalisation? The Internal Architecture of Anglophone Globalisation Discourse in Europe’, Public Administration , 88: 4

Smith, N. (2009) ‘Global Social Justice – A “Matter of Human Survival”: An Interview with Clare Short’, Journal of Global Ethics , 5: 2

Lee, D. and N. Smith (2008) ‘The Political Economy of Small African States in the WTO’, The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs , 97.  [Selected as one of five classic articles to celebrate the journal’s Centenary in 2010]

Bates, S. and N. Smith (2008) ‘Understanding Change in Political Analysis: On the Need to Bring Space into Theoretical Positions and Empirical Analyses', Political Studies Review (2008), 6: 2

Smith, N. and C. Hay (2008) ‘Mapping the Political Discourse of Globalisation and European Integration in the UK and Ireland Empirically’, European Journal of Political Research , 47: 3

Smith, N. (2006) ‘Mapping Processes of Policy Change in Contemporary European Political Economies: The Irish Case’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations , 8: 4

Hay, C., N. Smith and M. Watson (2006) ‘Beyond Prospective Accountancy: Reassessing the Case for British Membership of the Single European Currency Comparatively’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations , 8:1

Hay, C. and N. Smith (2005) ‘Horses for Courses? The Political Discourse of Globalisation and European Integration in the UK and Ireland’, West European Politics , 28:1

Smith, N. Pace, M. Lee, D. (2005) ‘Size Matters: Small States in International Relations’, International Studies Perspectives (2005), 6:3

Smith, N. (2004) ‘Deconstructing “Globalisation” in Ireland’, Policy & Politics , 32:4

Smith, N. (2002) ‘The Irish Republic – “A Showpiece of Globalisation”?’, Politics , 22:3


  • Sex work
  • Queer & trans* politics
  • Anti-globalisation

Media experience

  • BBC Five Live (on male escorting in the UK)
  • The Voice of Russia (on students who sell sex)

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